Trans Nzoia on alert over suspected Marburg virus case

Wednesday November 1 2017

Marburg

Trans Nzoia Governor Patrick Khaemba addresses a gathering during the flagging off of trailers carrying fertilizer, on March 21, 2016. The county is investigating a suspected case of Marburg virus. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By GERALD BWISA
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Health officials in Trans Nzoia County have issued an alert of a suspected Marburg virus case in the region.

This comes after a Ugandan citizen suspected to have contracted the Ebola-like Marburg fever visited a herbalist, Ms Fridah Etyang’, at Bwayi village, Kaisagat location, in Kwanza Constituency, to seek medication.

The herbalist is suspected to have been infected with the virus and is under medical observation.

PANIC
Health officials told the Nation that samples have been taken to the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri) for testing.

“This is not Ebola but we suspect Marburg, which has symptoms like Ebola,” county director of preventive and promotive health services Gilbert Sowon said.

Mr Sowon asked Kenyans to be calm as the samples were being examined by Kemri scientists to ascertain the nature of the disease.

QUARANTINE
According to the Kitale County Hospital Medical Superintendent, Dr Emmanuel Wanjala, the case was the first to occur in Trans Nzoia, saying it was being treated as a special case as efforts to mobilise the community continue.

“Already a quarantine has been enforced in the affected area and mobilisation in the community is ongoing,” he said.

Kenya has not previously experienced any Ebola case, though three cases of suspected Marburg fever were recorded around Mt Elgon
region.